These are insanely rich and chocolatey cookies. They're a perfect mix between chocolate chocolate chip and chocolate shortbread and the fancy salt MAKES them absolutely divine.
Dorie Greenspan renamed these little wonders "World Peace Cookies" (she had formerly called them Sablés Korova in homage to their creator, French Chef Pierre Hermé's) because after tasting them her neighbor declared that they could bring peace to the earth. Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen hilariously disagrees. She finds these cookies so addictive that they bring out a highly selfish and decidedly non-peaceful side of her personality. Ala Gollum....My precious!
I think they're outstanding. World peace inducing, I dunno, but they are definitely worth making and you will have to work hard to resist eating them all in a night. I highly recommend adding a tiny pinch of fleur de sel or other flaky salt to the top of each cookie before baking to push their flavor over-the-edge.
"World Peace Cookies"
From Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan via Smitten Kitchen
Yield: About 3 dozen
1 stick plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed lightly
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel /or 1/4 teaspoon of any flaky salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped /or 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips of any kind
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and set aside.
Using a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until they become very light and fluffy. You'll want to work them for 5-7 minutes and get in as much air as possible as this makes for a much more tender cookie.
Add the fleur de sel and vanilla and pulse quickly until just combined. Add in the sifted dry ingredients and combine on very low speed so they don't fly out of the mixing bowl. Throw a dish towel over the bowl to catch the "dust" if need be. Add the chips and pulse for just a few seconds more. We want to be sure not to overwork the dough here.
Ugly photo, sorry, but I wanted to show you the crumbliness level. I had already started to bring it together when I shot this, so it was even crumblier when I first turned it out of the mixing bowl.
Turn the crumbly dough out onto plastic wrap, parchment, or wax paper and bring it together into a square. Divide that square in two and roll two logs about 1 1/2 inch wide by about 11 inches long. These cookies are rich, so the small size is nice, but you can certainly make them larger. Just keep an eye on them while they're baking and add/reduce time as needed.
Refrigerate the logs for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. This dough will also freeze well for several months and you can cut the cookies directly from the frozen log and bake them right out of the freezer.
When you're ready to bake these off, preheat your oven to 325 F. Cut the cookies to about 1/2 inch thickness and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets about 1/2 inch apart. If they crumble, which mine did in a big way, just patch/pinch them back together again. I also used my palm to flatten each cookie a bit.
Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes (I did 10). Remove from the oven and set the pan on a rack. After about 10 minutes, transfer the cookies to the rack to finish cooling.
These are great warm and even yummier, and more shortbread-like, at room temperature.